Home Alone with a Newborn

The Tough

Today’s our first day at home without H.  The little one and I dropped him off at the shuttle stop early this morning in the rain.  I slept horribly last night.  She was awake every hour and in between feedings she was grumbling.  My maternal instincts are in over drive. I’m alert and wide awake at the slightest arm twitch or raspy breath.  Then this morning she refused to nap.  In the past few days I’ve gotten a good two hour chunk of time first thing in the morning.  Today was only 45 minutes and after the grueling night we had I felt jipped, cheated.  I know she has no control over her sleeping and eating schedules right now, but I’m strapped in to that ride no matter how hard or crazy-making it gets.  Today has been tough.  At the third feeding, with no sleepy droopy baby eyes in sight I started crying when she cried again. My whole day hinges around this tiny little being who is only beginning to learn how to be in this world.

The Good

I can fix all of her problems right now.  This is the only time in her life when I’ll be able to soothe her, comfort her, no matter what troubles her.  Her problems are simple, wet diaper, hunger, need for comfort. As she gets older and her feelings get hurt by a friend, she feels disappointed in not achieving something she’d hoped for, her heart gets broken, all I can do is offer to stand next to her.  I won’t be able to take her troubles or tears away.

I love that I can cuddle her and she still fits in the space between my chest and hips.  She’s grown so much and I know this phase won’t last very long.  I love the smell of her head.  The unearthly softness of her hair and cheeks.  The sweet smiles she makes as she falls asleep.  And oh my good the sweetness of her milk breath.  I could watch her for hours on end, just sleep and breathe and coo and take in the world around her.  She  changes every day and I try to appreciate each moment as much as I can. I know they won’t last long.  She officially grew out of the newborn size diapers and her first onesies.  It’s hard to know we can never go back, only forward.

I’m also grateful for an incredibly supportive partner.  H has taken on so many more chores around the house.  I love to watch him love that little girl.  He dotes on her and can’t stop kissing the top of her head.  He also loves that she prefers getting burped by him.  He changes diapers all the time.  And most importantly he listens to me and comforts me when the hormones and the hardness of this period of time get the best of me.  He’s my better half, the last piece that completes the puzzle and I couldn’t do this without him.

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Somebody’s Mama

(c) Open Hearted

(c) Open Hearted

I’m a mama. On March 13  at 2:18 pm our beautiful daughter was born 7 lb 10 oz and 21 inches. After 24 hours of labor I pushed this teeny little being out of my body. The doctor and nurse told me most women push for a few hours, and I thought no way she’s coming in an hour.  I opened my eyes during the last push and all I could see was the back of this tiny, fuzzy little head.  A noise escaped my throat that I’d never heard before.  It was a cry of raw, pure, joy.  In that moment I became a mama. This was my little baby.  Our family was now three forever after.  The doctor placed her on my chest for a moment and she felt warm and squashy.  I held her inches from my face.  I can’t even remember H standing next to me and looking on us both.  I wish I’d looked up and memorized his expression.

He coached me through labor brilliantly.  He did everything I needed and it was hard for him to see me in so much pain.  He got tears in his eyes and he watched our little girl welcomed into the light of our world.  He took such good care of me and hesitated before going over with the baby when she went to get cleaned off.  I’ve never seen anything as wonderful as a new dad taking in every little detail of his new daughter.  Her dark brown hair, almond shaped puffy eyes, pink skin, teeny nose, and long froggy-like hands and fingers.

Then the nurse brought her back over to me inthe hospital bed and I snuggled her on my chest. We made a flurry of phone calls and texts to let everyone know she was here.  I kept her in my arms the whole time.  The sun was streaming through the window on an unusually beautiful San Francisco afternoon.  We became parents that day.  I felt reborn myself.  Parts of me came alive that had never woken up before. Parts I didn’t even know I had.  I felt a deep and profound love down to the toes of my soul.  I instantly loved this little baby with more than everything I had in my heart.  She was perfect. When I laid eyes on her she didn’t feel familiar, but my first thought was, of course.  Of course this is our baby.  This little one chose us.  My heart was ripped wide open.

I hope to write down a more in depth birth story soon, but I’m too tired to do it now.